Day Two - Viareggio
We then moved on to creating the pasta dish. We used rigatoni for this preparation, and we boiled just the fronds of fennel in a huge salted pot of boiling water. After it was softened, we chopped it fine and added it to the pasta with olive oil, and fried sardines. There was quite a bit of fennel in this dish, so if it sounds like an inspirational item to you, my suggestion would be to cut back on some of the fennel because it just overwhelmed everything.
Our final dish was a perfectly light and airy yellow cake, brushed with limoncello (a type of Italian lemon liquer), and a lemon pastry cream was dolloped in the center and sandwiched with another layer of the yellow cake. Powdered sugar and fried lemon zest completed the dish.
For dinner, our group headed to Viareggio, which is on the west coast of Italy, where I got to stick my feet in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. We also did a bit of shopping, and enjoyed a seafood tasting dinner, with several small plates of different preparations of seafood. There, we had several glasses of wine, a shot of straight limoncello, and wonderful friendly banter between the group. Its nice to know we are all getting closer. The whole ride home I was just grinning like an idiot, because I know these people are becoming my friends, and I was glad to know I wasn't alone in this beautiful place.
Buona Sera! (Good night, my new favorite word!)